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YOGYAKARTA / JOGJA - Introduction
YOGYAKARTA (often spelled as Jogja, Jogjakarta, or Yogya) is the premier tour destination of Java island, Indonesia. A thousand years ago, Yogyakarta was the center of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom which was prosperous and had high civilization. The kingdom built Borobudur Temple which was the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, 300 years before Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The other archaeological heritages are Prambanan Temple, Ratu Boko Palace, and tens of temples spread out in Yogyakarta (see Archaeological Sights).
For an unknown reason, the Ancient Mataram Kingdom moved its capital to East Java in 10th century. The glorious temples were abandoned and some were buried by the eruptions of Mount Merapi. Slowly, the area of Yogyakarta became a dense forest again.
Six hundred years later, Panembahan Senopati established the Islamic Mataram Kingdom in this area. Once again Yogyakarta became a witness of the rise of a powerful kingdom that ruled Java Island and the surrounding area. The Islamic Mataram Kingdom had left ruins of the fort and the kingdom cemetery in Kotagede that is now known as the center of silver handicraft in Yogyakarta (see Historic & Heritage Sights).
Giyanti Agreement in 1755 divided the Islamic Mataram Kingdom into Kasunan Surakarta that is centered in Solo and Kesultanan Yogyakarta (Sultanate of Yogyakarta) that built its palace in Jogja City. Kraton (the palace) still stand up to now and function as the home of the sultan and family, completed by hundreds of royal servants who are willing to follow the traditions in the middle of the changing era. In Kraton (the palace), there is a cultural performance every day; such as shadow puppet, gamelan (traditional musical instruments), Javanese classical dance, etc. (see Calendar of Events).
Yogyakarta at the present time is a place where traditions and modern dynamics can walk side by side. In Yogyakarta, there is a Kraton (palace) with hundreds of royal servants who hold the traditions faithfully, but there is also Gadjah Mada University which is one of the reputable universities in Southeast Asia. Most of the citizens of Yogyakarta live in a strong agricultural tradition, but there are also many college students that live in a modern lifestyle. There is a traditional market in Yogyakarta which stand side by side with modern mall.
At the north end of Yogyakarta, you will see the Mount Merapi stands as high as 9738 feet above sea level. This mountain is one of the most active volcano in Indonesia. The impressions of it's eruption in 2006 can be witnessed in the village of Kaliadem, 30 km from the city of Jogja. The Mooi Indie scenery of green paddy field and Mount Merapi as the background can still be seen on the outskirts of the Jogja City (see Nature & Outdoors).
In the southern part of Yogyakarta, you will find many beaches. The most famous beach is Parangtritis with the legend of Nyi Roro Kidul (Queen of the South), but Yogyakarta also has beautiful natural beaches in Gunung Kidul. You can see Sadeng Beach which was the ancient mouth of the Bengawan Solo River before a powerful tectonic force lifted the surface of the southern part of Java so that the flow of the river turned to the north like today. You can also visit Siung Beach which has 250 points of rock climbing, Sundak Beach, etc (see Beaches).
Malaysia has the tallest twin towers in the world, Yogyakarta has the towering 47m high Prambanan Temple that was built 1100 years before. Singapore has a modern living, Yogyakarta has traditional agricultural citizens. Thailand and Bali have beautiful beaches, Yogyakarta has natural beaches and Mount Merapi that will tell us how powerful the nature is.
The unique combination of ancient temples, history, traditions, culture, and natural forces make Yogyakarta worth to visit. YogYES.COM site will help you to plan a visit to Yogyakarta and enjoy the best charms of this place. We provide rich information about things to see and do, star hotels, cheap hotels, restaurants, food stalls, travel agents, car rentals and all the information you need to travel to Yogyakarta / Jogja.
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